Contacts: Graduation Banquets

What is the mission of the local congregation of the Lord? It should be obvious to any observer, but sadly, when we look at our activities, it is hard to discern.

The mission of Christ was to seek and save the lost (Luke 9:10). The mission of His church should be the same (Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 3:9-10). Many of our activities serve as busy work and distractions from our mission. They are not necessarily unimportant. Honoring those to whom honor is due is Biblical (Romans 13:7). Is it possible to celebrate, honor, and do good while at the same time reaching the lost?

Does your congregation have a graduation banquet? If you have any seniors, the answer is probably, “yes.” Somewhere in your building is a closet with decorations, tablecloths, and other items used to recognize your graduates. It is an exciting time for parents, grandparents, family, friends, and graduates. Use this opportunity to award Bibles, make encouraging speeches, and create memorable fellowship. Is it possible to have such a celebration while remaining focused on our mission? Who comes to these banquets? What happens during these banquets? The answers to these questions create exciting opportunities.

  • First, the leadership of the congregation should ensure that everyone understands the primary mission is to reach the lost during this event. The most important part is not dinner, cake, and ice cream. The most important part is the opportunity to reach souls!
  • Second, invite non-Christians! Anyone who has known the graduate and would like to share in this celebration should be invited. Those who attend become contacts in the first step of the evangelism model.
  • Third, engage the ladies to make this a special occasion. Decorations, gifts, and food are always a hit! You want the visitor to be impressed with the congregation and your love for their family/friend.
  • Fourth, the congregation should be looking for guests and greet each non-member warmly. A friendly greeting is a good first impression, but failure to be friendly makes a lasting impression. Sit with those you do not know. Find out who they are and why they are visiting. Have visitor bags ready with contact cards in hand.
  • Fifth, instead of a graduation address, what about a gospel sermon? If the graduate is able, let him deliver it. If not, the preacher has a unique opportunity to reach people who normally would not be in the pews. Preach something they will not hear at their local denomination, but do not try to convert them in one lesson. This is a team effort!
  • Sixth, meals are effective prospecting tools to reach sinners. Members of the congregation should locate and sit by visitors. This will give you an opportunity to find out more about your guests. Find common ground and look for an opening to meet them again.
  • Seventh, place the contact on your congregational contact list and begin prospecting through Compassion Cards and other acts of kindness.
  • Eighth, begin praying for these new contacts.

Never allow congregational activities to become self-serving events. The focus should always be on saving souls. This will not happen by accident. It will take deliberate and focused attention of the leadership along with training the congregation to meet their objective.

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